California Trip - it's changed again guys!!
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Sep 19, 2012 11:14 AM Last Post By: yaguri
Sep 18, 2012 3:02 PM
15There's really no need to take a tour to Muir Woods, if you're there on a weekend when the bus is running. Save your money for other stuff. Muir Woods can definitely get crowded, but as Nutrax said, just walk a mile or so and you'll have relative solitude.
If you like wine, no need to visit a winery - just go to one of many wine bars in San Francisco, or pick up a great bottle at the local market. My opinion is that your time would be much better spent at Muir Woods than bussing it over to a touristy winery.
Make sure to spend a couple nights down in Big Sur - don't just pop down from Monterey for the day. Again, I'll stress that you should reserve a campsite well in advance (and I'd recommend camping rather than lodging, since Big Sur can be $$$$). Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park has a wonderful campground.
Also, just let me stress how important it is that you book your Yosemite campsite early, as well. As in, the SECOND (literally) they become available to reserve online. You want one of the campgrounds with "Pines" in the name - Upper, Lower, or North.
Sep 18, 2012 3:15 PM
16The HI Fisherman's Wharf Hostel (which is more usually called the Fort Mason Hostel) is the only hostel in SF where there is free parking. So it might be a place to meet people who have a car and would like to do a day trip, if you help pay for gas.
I see you ware planning to camp in Yosemite. Getting a campsite, especially for Yosemite Valley, in mid summer requires a great deal of luck.
The first-come, first served campsites fill rapidly--people start lining up at dawn for some of them. You can always keep checking for cancellations.
Some campgrounds are not accessible except by car. There is an HI hostel not far from the park entrance. It is served by the YARTS bus.
South Lake Tahoe, at least what you can get ot without a car, may be more urban than you anticipate, especially the closer you get to Nevada.
There is a hostel in Sacramento, not far from the AMTRAK station, which in turn is right next to the historic area. The hostel is also close to a lot of restaurants, bars, and clubs.
Sep 18, 2012 11:42 PM
17Glad my comments have been useful.
Lassen National Park is a wonderful and rarely visited park compared to others here in California. You cant get through the park with public transportation, but there is ways of getting close to it and enjoying the nature of the Southern Cascades. The Sage Stage bus, leaves Reno once daily for Alturas. http://sagestage.com/SchedulesFares.aspx Get of at the Susanvile stop, and take the West County route of the Lassen Rural bus system to the town of Chester. http://lassentransportation.org/a/Lassen-Rural-Bus-LRB.php Chester is on the Southern edge of the park, and while its not near the main entrance, there is a 17 mile road that heads to a side entrance to the park where Drakesbad Hot Springs resort is located inside the park boundaries. They pick up guests of the resort who fly into the small local airport, even those coming for just a meal,so they should be able to meet you at the bus stop, though I dont know the cost. However the resort books up quick, so you would have to have prior reservation if you want to stay.
There are other options to see the beauty of the volcanic southern Cascades here in the North State. You can also take Amtrak north from Sacramento to the small cute railroad town of Dunsmuir, where you are then just a few miles hike to Castle Crags State Park.
If you do take the Amtrak Thruway bus to the Redwoods (and I would) there is another loop you can do instead of returning the same way on the Amtrak Thruway. From the towns of Eureka or Arcata, on the coast by the redwoods, take the Redwood Transit system bus, which follows highway 299, to Willow Creek. From there, you transfer to the Trinity transit bus to the town of Weaverville (just voted one of the top ten small towns in the country http://www.budgettravel.com/contest/americas-coolest-small-towns-2012,11/#map-pin10 ). I would spend a night here, or you can then transfer again to the Trinity Transit bus going to Redding, California. http://www.trinitytransit.org/ Redding is then serviced by both Amtrak and Greyhound, and you can then head back south to Sacramento (maybe stopping at the University party town of Chico to relax and have a beer at the Sierra Nevada Brewery).
Sep 19, 2012 4:31 AM
18Thank you!!! I've now copy and pasted all this info onto a word document and printed it off so I can go through at my leisure and pick out things that I would like to do from your suggestions, as well as all the really useful information and advice I've received about the different public transportation I can use/where to camp/lodging etc. You guys are great - thanks so much for your help!
Sep 19, 2012 7:24 AM
Sep 19, 2012 11:14 AM
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